Everton faces uncertain future after proposed sale to investment firm 777 Partners falls through

By AP News


Miami-based private investment firm 777 Partners has failed to conclude a deal for the purchase of Everton

Soccer Everton 777

LONDON (AP) — Storied Premier League club Everton faces an uncertain future after a proposed takeover by American investment firm 777 Partners collapsed on Saturday.

The Miami-based private investment firm reached a deal in September to buy out Everton’s majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, who has a 94.1% stake. But the club said in a statement that the deal was now off because it had not been completed before the deadline.

“The agreement between 777 Partners and Blue Heaven Holdings Limited for the sale and purchase of the majority shareholding in the club expired today,” Everton said. “The club will continue to operate as usual while it works with Blue Heaven Holdings to assess all options for the club’s future ownership."

Uncertainty has hung over the deal as 777, which owns soccer clubs in Germany, Italy, Belgium and Brazil, has faced mounting problems in both the business and sporting worlds.

The Australian airline Bonza — which it owns — has gone into administration and last month a suit was filed against 777 owners Josh Wander and Steven Pasko, plus others, by a London-based asset management firm providing $600 million in financing.

Everton endured a troubled campaign, which saw it receive two separate points deductions for breaching the Premier League’s financial rules. Despite that, it managed to preserve its place in England’s top flight for another year after avoiding relegation.

Everton was a founding member of the English Football League in 1888 and Premier League in 1992. It has won nine league championships, five FA Cups and a European Cup Winners’ Cup, but has not won a major trophy since the FA Cup in 1995 and in its most recent accounts reported losses of $112.5 million.

Moshiri said in September that he was selling because of “rapid changes in the nature of ownership and financing of top football clubs.”

He said the sale would also secure financing to complete a 52,888 capacity stadium that is currently under construction.

Everton's financial losses came despite selling a number of players at a profit of $60 million. Net debt increased to $417 million because of “significant investment” in the new stadium, the club said.

Everton acknowledged in its statement on Saturday that 777 had provided a “considerable level of financial support” over recent months.

777 Partners has stakes in a number of soccer teams through its 777 Football Group. The firm completed a majority stake takeover of Hertha Berlin last year. Its other clubs include Sevilla, Genoa, Vasco da Gama, Standard Liege, Red Star FC and Australian team Melbourne Victory.


AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer


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